State investigation finds few problems at nursing home with history of alarming complaints
BATON ROUGE- The Department of Health has concluded an investigation it started into Iberville Oaks Nursing Home finding few to no deficiencies regarding complaints that Sheriff Brett Stassi tells WBRZ he alerted them about.
The report obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit shows the facility was cited for problems with a resident's breathing machine or CPAP.
The state concluded, "The facility plans to monitor its performance to make sure that solutions are sustained by having an employee making random rounds of residents with physician orders."
This summer, WBRZ was first to show the problems occurring at the facility. Following those stories, top administrators were no longer employed.
Alarming complaints were filed with the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office regarding neglect at the facility.
In one complaint, a patient noted, "She started to blow a whistle so that a nurse can hear and come to her aid when needed.... she can hear the nurses laughing and joking about the whistle being blown and refuses to bring medication."
Since 2015, there have been 40 deficiencies noted at the facility.
Offense reports filed with the sheriff's office indicate residents have been complaining about a shortage of staff, not getting medication on time, and a patient throwing up on himself and not getting anyone to help him.
That last complaint forced the patient to call 911 for help.
This is the conversation between a dispatcher and an employee of the sheriff's office:
DISPATCHER: Can ya'll send a unit over to Iberville Oaks? We have a patient call said he needed to speak with a nurse. I've called every number for them, and no one is answering.
SHERIFF'S OFFICE: They said they were trying to get in touch with a nurse?
DISPATCHER: Yes, but I can't get in touch with anyone at the facility.
Bessie Garnier was a former employee at the facility. She said she quit after not being able to take the neglect she witnessed firsthand.
"Did I agree with it? No I did not," Garnier said. "None of it did I agree with, and that's why someone has to speak up it has to be stopped."
Following the state wrapping up its investigation with few findings, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi told WBRZ their investigation along with the Attorney General's investigation are ongoing.